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Octopuses Defy The Genetic Usual

Octopuses is some of the most intelligent creatures on Earth. They can open jars, escape fish tanks, are expert tool-makers, and are skilled in camouflage thanks to their ability to change in both texture and color.

A scientists team led by Joshua Rosenthal at the Marine Biological Laboratory and Eli Esienberg at Tel Aviv University have found that octopuses and their relatives — the coleoid cephalopods, including squid and cuttlefish — have the ability to edit the RNA information encoded in their genes, possibly allowing them to rapidly & temporarily respond to environmental conditions or tasks.

Why It Matters: Coleoid species are the rare few who edit their RNA. It’s unclear if it’s responsible for their incredible intellect, but Noa Liscovitch-Brauer, a member of Rosenthal’s team, said: “that would definitely be my guess.”

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